Sunday – July 3, 2022
Word On Worship – Sunday – July 3, 2022
In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”
At first glance, a chapter like Romans 11 that deals with the subject of whether God still has a purpose for His people Israel might seem irrelevant to your life. What does the future of Israel have to do with finding a marriage partner or staying happy with the one you’ve got? What does Israel’s future have to do with the pressures of work and keeping your family’s finance afloat? What relevance does this topic have as you struggle with personal issues or health problems? Maybe you think you can skip chapter 11 and just check back in when we get to the practical stuff in Romans 12!
Let me suggest why this subject should be of interest to you. The underlying issue Paul is dealing with in Romans 11 is, “Can God’s promises fail if our sin is too great?” God chose the nation of Israel as His people apart from all other nations on earth (Deut. 7:6). Through the prophet Jeremiah, God assured the stubborn nation that was about to go into captivity His promises to Israel could never fail. To dispel the thought that Israel’s sin could lead to their permanent rejection, God added (Jer. 31:37), “Thus says the Lord, ‘If the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out below, then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done,’ declares the Lord.”
In other words, if God rejects Israel as His people because their sin is too great, then His promises are conditional and can fail. And if His promises to Israel fail, then how can we know that His promises to us will not fail? And since those promises include working all of our trials together for good (8:28) and His promise that no trial can ever cut us off from His love (8:35-39), the question of why God has seemingly rejected Israel becomes very practical! It boils down to can you trust God to do as He promises?
Our failures are never fatal when they cause us to turn to the sovereign grace of God. They are for our good. They are for His glory. Sovereign grace views failure in an entirely new light. I will not ask you if there are failures in your life because I know the answer to this question. But I will ask, “Have you thought that God has given up on you because you have failed?” Do you think that God is only interested in you when you succeed? Then you have completely failed to understand the grace of God. Sovereign grace means that man’s failure is the occasion for God’s grace, if we simply acknowledge our failure, our need, and receive His grace. Grace is never more sweet than it is to one who has failed. Grace is never so distasteful than it is to one who thinks he has been successful.